So you want to be a personal trainer...
Not all personal trainers are Jillian Michaels or Tony Europe. For a great many people, it would be damn hard to sustain the intensity of these high profile personas on a daily basis. (And it is probably hard for THEM to sustain this energy off-screen, too! Props to them!) Being a trainer takes a lot out of a person - or being a good trainer does. This is because being a trainer means you wear many hats. In addition to being a coach, a leader, a friendly ear, an expert, and a constant source of motivation, there is a certain parental element to the job as well; meaning you care about your clients - and by God you worry about them, even when they`re not training with you. It can be Sunday evening, Friday at noon, Tuesday just before bed and you`ll think, `I hope Judy managed to feel good about herself this weekend`, or `I hope John didn`t talk himself out of that run again.`
For dedicated trainers, it can be very difficult not to take the success or failure of your clients very personally. (Of course, it`s easier to take the success of your clients with a lighter heart.)
Here`s the thing though: You don`t have to actually train other people to be a personal trainer. There are thousands and thousands of people who become certified as personal trainers just for fun. Yes, fun. They want to know more about their bodies, and how to better their bodies. Maybe they want to be able to help out friends and family, but have no real desire to take on the career as a full time profession. All these people are seeking is knowledge about health and nutrition, in its purest most unbiased form. All the hype in magazines and online can make it heroically hard to figure out what`s real and what`s not. Once you`ve got your certification as a trainer, you basically have that knowledge for yourself. You can sort the pearls from the poop, so to speak.
This isn`t to say that being a professional trainer isn`t rewarding - because it is - it is one of the most rewarding careers on the planet. You get to meet people, share a bit of their lives with them, and then witness remarkable and life affirming transformations. It just takes a lot of guts, and a lot of patience, and a hell of a lot of time to be a successful trainer. Most people who get into training don`t miraculously acquire a full-time client base. Many don`t even get a part-time base at first - but with dedication and persistence and passion, it can happen.
The point here is to highlight the other possibilities for a personal trainer certification. DO IT FOR YOU! You may want to do it because you want to learn, expand your horizons. You may want to learn to better and love yourself a bit more - and who are we to argue with the timeless words of Whitney Houston: Learning to love yourself IS the greatest love of all!
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